After sitting out all of last season due to a dispute about his role on the team, Houston Rockets guard John Wall has now played just 113 games over the last five seasons, missing two of them completely. As a result, he has become something of a forgotten man in the NBA.
That could change over the next few months. Wall is entering the final year of a four-year, $171 million deal, and though the $47.7 million he’s owed this season continues to make him an unrealistic trade target, he may be ready to negotiate a buyout with the Rockets, per Marc Stein.
Wall was healthy last season, but was not amiable to the Rockets’ plans to use him off the bench as they prioritized their young backcourt of Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. With the team unable to find a trade partner, and Wall uninterested in giving up multiple years worth of salary in a buyout, he ended up sitting the entire season.
It’s one thing to sit out one season to preserve your money and prove a point, but it’s hard to imagine Wall would have interest in doing it again — especially now that he’s about to turn 32 and has already missed so much time to injuries. At the same time, it’s unlikely he’d suddenly be happy to play a reserve role on a rebuilding team, which means a buyout is the most likely scenario.
And while Wall is no longer the peak All-NBA version of himself, he’s still a good player. He averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists in 40 games with the Rockets during the 2020-21 season, and remains one of the best passers in the league. The lack of interest in trading for him over the last year is due entirely to his unwieldy contract rather than his abilities on the court. If he gets a buyout and becomes a free agent, all sorts of teams would be in on him.
Courtesy: CBS Sports